Seriously, you can do a Chernobyl tour from Kiev, and it’s seriously spooky,
The Chernobyl disaster happened in 1986 in the former Soviet Union in the north of Ukraine.
A reactor exploded discharging radioactivity into the atmosphere and killing 37 people within a few days, as well as countless more victims in the future due to radioactive poisoning.
The area became unliveable and the 70,000 civilian residents of the nearby city of Pripyat were evacuated, as well as other settlements in the region.
Pripyat has since become an eerie ghost city.
There is a 30km exclusion zone around the whole area, but you can go there on short visits and in the more dangerous areas you don’t stay that long.
Still visiting a nuclear disaster site is not exactly something you do everyday.
This is not a guide to visiting Chernobyl but is to show you what it’s like with lots of images.
There were a few nerves going on at times when the radioactive levels spiked on the geiger counter.
The Ghost City of Pripyat
Pripyat is a really haunting place.
Everything was left behind.
The old school is littered with gas-masks.
Abandoned piano lessons.
Items left behind in a hurry such as this children’s book and hair comb.
The indoor swimming pool.
Time stood still.
More gas masks lying around.
The haunting playground.
Nature is taking over the city as trees grow all around.
Art on walls.
The Village Kindergarten
On the way to Pripyat there is an abandoned village with a kindergarten. This was seriously saddening to visit seeing the children’s things lying around.
At the entrance to the kindergarten there is a radioactive hotspot. Normal radiation readings would measure up to 0.3. There it reached up to 12!
The guide explains about the radiation.
Inside the kindergarten.
The Soviet Radar Complex on The Chernobyl Tour
The Soviets had an early warning nuclear missile radar station nearby Chernobyl called Duga-1.
It’s 90 metres high and 250 metres wide.
Nearby building. Some had Soviet paintings on.
This says something like “Soviets need you”!
The entrance area.
The Chernobyl Tour From Kiev
Chernobyl entrance sign.
Chernobyl Reactor Number 4.
This is where the meltdown happened. It took 500,000 people to clean up the 30km exclusion zone around the reactor, many died later from radiation poisoning. The radiation won’t fully disappear for thousands of years.
Reactor Number 4.
The initial cleanup of the reactor was only meant to last around 30 years, and there is a new sarcophagus being built to cover it up that should be ready by 2017.
There are people that go to Chernobyl called stalkers that enter illegally, and then wander around and sleep inside the abandoned buildings.
However it’s best that you don’t try that as you will not know the proper way to do so, the people that do it are experts in the region, Plus you can get into trouble.
If you’re interested in urban exploration (urbex) then a tour to Chernobyl and Pripyat should be high on your list.
A very unique experience to do.
Would you do a Chernobyl tour?
Useful links for a tour to Chernobyl
If you’re going to do a day tour of Chernobyl then you are most likely starting out in Kiev.
Really good book on the history of Chernobyl: Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster
Best guidebook fro visiting Ukraine in general: Lonely Planet Ukraine.
Some other posts I have done about my time living in Kiev:
The World Nuclear Association has some useful reading about the Chernobyl disaster at their website.
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